APX began four years ago, developing a system called "Terminator Vision" for the military. Integrated with smart glasses, the application could be used to scan and identify faces in crowds. The company also developed a telemedicine application.
"The military was looking for ways to revolutionize how soldiers were connected to Department of Defense data sources," Ballard said, drawing a comparison between large government agencies and corporate enterprises.
While corporations have invested billions of dollars in IT systems, there have been limits to data deployment among workers in remote locations or factory lines that are not conducive to laptops.
"If you think of all of the areas where it is useful to have hands-free access to information, there are four that stand out," said APX co-founder and COO Jeff Jenkins. The list includes manufacturing, energy, logistics and healthcare, he said. "If we take energy, you can imagine how hazardous some of the environments are that people work in."
The technology could allow a remote instructor to provide feedback or check that a job was done correctly, allowing workers to spend less time in dangerous environments. Skylight can also guide a worker to a specific location, or allow a worker on an assembly line to access a manual without leaving his or her position.
APX estimated that Skylight has applications for as many as one in five workers, but it has explored other markets as well. The company has developed a live-sports product called Skybox that can transmit stats, video feeds or social media apps to smart glasses at some arenas and stadiums.